The e4 Toolkit Model - A new view on UIs

Hallvard Traetteberg

Modeling · Short
Thursday, 14:20, 20 minutes | Silchersaal

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e4's Toolkit Model introduces a new way of building Eclipse UIs: Model it, script it and execute it!

The Toolkit Model combines elements of web programming and model-based techniques, to make building UIs easier and faster. Based on an EMF model of widgets, it is a natural extension of e4's modeled workbench UI.

UIs are created using EMF-based tools and run by loading and rendering with the SWT toolkit. Any subsequent change to the model is reflected in the live UI. Widgets may be scripted using Javascript, similarly to how web pages are made interactive. This provides several advantages compared to hand-coding everything in Java:

  • Instead of coding, the UI is assembled from basic widgets or pre-made model fragments.
  • The UI structure, look & feel and scripted logic may be changed without having to compile and build the whole application.
  • Model-based techniques may be used for creating the UI, e.g. rapidly composing complete UIs from model fragments.
  • Since the state of the UI is completely captured by the model, it may be saved and restored at any time, in any place, and even shared using technology like CDO.

    The talk will present the basic concepts and architecture and show how the tools are used for created and scripting UIs.

    Hallvard Traetteberg, has a PhD on model-based UI design from the Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology, where he now is Associate Professor. He has developed Eclipse-based research prototypes for many years, and contributes the Toolkit Model to the e4 project, based on this experience.

    Slides

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